Interview with Greg Dulli
By Jessica Netishen and Dan Tebo
We at AvoidPeril love Greg Dulli, and we are excited out of our minds to feature a short email interview where Mr. Dulli talks about Jack London, the ever-changing lineup of the Twilight Singers, and gets maybe a liiiittle defensive about his beloved Cinncinnatti Reds.
1. The Afghan Whigs are widely recognized as one of the finest live acts of all time. Do you foresee the release of a Whigs live album? What about a Twilight Singers live album?
Thank you for the kind words. I’m not a big fan of live albums, outside of Cheap Trick and Kiss. That said, I know we have some archived shows and I imagine they’ll sneak out someday. We plan to record all of the Twilight shows next time we go out.
2. Amber Headlights documents a particularly turbulent period in your life; why release it now?
Amber Headlights is an unfinished work that caught the interest of a large group of people who like what I do. I’m proud of the material and enough time had passed that I felt ok about letting
out there. It is a limited release, so I saw no harm in making it available to interested parties.
3. The Black is the Color of My True Love’s Hair EP (released in the fall of 2003) featured some songs from the Amber Headlights sessions. What made you single a song like “Domani” out from the rest?
Dave Katznelson, who released the EP on his Birdman label, had heard “Domani” and requested its inclusion.
4. The current live incarnation of the Twilight Singers is incredible. Do you anticipate a lengthy relationship with Jon Skibic/Bobby MacIntyre/Michael Sullivan, or is Twilight Singers still an ever-changing cast of musicians?
There is a circle of musicians who I go to when recording and playing live based on availability. Depending on who can go and who wants to go, it would be my pleasure to play with any of them. That includes the aforementioned, as well as Scott Ford, John Nooney, Greg Wieczorec, Mathias Schneeberger, Manuel Agnelli and Peter Adams.
5. Every time you roll into Boston on tour, you make a point to comment on the Boston Red Sox, and their failure to win a world championship (talking about the 1975 series against your beloved Reds and how Carlton Fisk is “gay” etc.). At the Twilight Singers show at the Middle East in October 2004, the Sox were about to be down 3-0, and you made excessive commentary about how the Yanks were going to win the series, and how Pedro would be a Yankee the following year…so what’s up now, pal?
When Boston won the second game of the four they took from the Yankees, I made a series of bets that won me over $1,000. As far as the Reds go, they’ve won 3 World Series in my lifetime. You got one…fuck off…
6. You have so many projects going on right now (producing and touring with Afterhours, Gutter Twins [w/Mark Lanegan], working on Powder Burns [the next Twilight Singers album, due out in early 2006], the Amber Headlights release, playing with the Uptown Lights) – can you give a quick update on each of them? Are you going to be touring for any of the albums, or with any of the bands (in addition to AfterHours)?
I leave for Italy this weekend to play w/Afterhours, and I’m very much looking forward to it. They consider me a member and I love their music and their friendship. Mark and I will eventually finish the Gutter Twins record; Amber Headlights was sitting on a shelf, so that one was relatively painless. Uptown Lights was a lark and a good time, and Powder Burns is nearing completion. The next tour I do will be for Powder Burns, but I would imagine that Amber Headlights will be represented in the shows…
7. After buying Blackberry Belle and Googling the quote on the inside of the liner notes, I went out and read [Jack London’s] “Martin Eden.” And I could not get that name out of my head, but I finally realized why – there is a line in a Tom Waits song called “Shiver Me Timbers” that references Martin Eden (“I know Martin Eden is gonna be proud of me / There’s plenty before me who’ve been called by the sea”). I was dorkily giddy after this, because you and Tom Waits are my two favorite singers. That’s not so much a question, but I guess I’d like to know if you like Tom Waits?
I love Tom Waits and I love Jack London. “Martin Eden” seems to resonate in all who read it.
8. How are things going at the Short-Stop? Do you spend a lot of time there when you are in L.A.?
The Short Stop is doing very well. It really is my favorite bar in the world, and I stop by when I can.
9. What music are you listening to lately? Can you make some recommendations?
I love the Black Mountain and Antony and the Johnsons’ records most at the moment…
10. Are you currently scouting out any new artists for your Infernal Recordings label?
Infernal Recordings considers unqualified greatness the key to a successful career. I’ll know it in 5 minutes if I hear it.